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Golden Ticket for Measuring Online Sales Metrics

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Online marketing channels* either lead to a phone call or they lead to the company website. A phone call is great, but a “click” to the website can mean many different things. Did they see your 1990’s website and decide to bounce within a couple seconds?  Did they go to your “about” page to learn that they really like you? Did they go to your “Blog” to realize that you are a good resource of information for your industry? But more importantly, did they convert into a sale! For obvious reasons, knowing how to determine a sales conversion is important for tracking your sales metrics.

* Online Marketing Channel: an online resource that is a means to drive users to a specific website.- Example: Youtube, Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, Email, Guest Blogging, Online Advertising……


Before we learn how to determine an online sales conversion, it is important to know that each user has a different intent with your website. Some users are the right match and some are not. What I mean by this is that there are certain triggers that impact each user differently. It can be as easy as the style of your website, the testimonials that you display, or the area in your “Service” page that you decided to emphasize as a specialty. There are aspects of your website that turn some users off and turn some users on. Knowing how different users interact with your website is very important because it determines the value of the user. In analytics we call this “Behavior.”

Determine Objective

Now that you know that it is important to know the behavior of your users, it is time to determine your website’s objective. Every company has an objective when it comes to their website. The majority of companies use their website to either have the user call them or drive to their location. Both of pieces of information can be found on the “Contact” page. If the “Contact” page is the company’s ultimate objective, then it is used as the marketing sales metric.

Marketing channels, like Yelp, only provide “Clicks” in their reports when it comes to website traffic. “Clicks” tell you the amount of users that go to your website, but not if the users reached your objective (Contact Page.) If the users did not meet the objective, should they be included as a sales metrics? No they do not. Now don’t get me wrong, these users still hold value. Any type of behavior on your website contributes towards brand equity, and can be a key step in the sales channel. The lead did not convert into a sale yet however, and until it does it  should not be included as a sales metric.

Marketing Channels

During our research, we have found that often times particular groups of users originate from particular types of channels. In other words, some channels deliver groups of users that bounce immediately while other channels bring groups of users that make their way to the “Contact Page.” If this is true for your business, then it might be time to reconsidered a few of your marketing channels if they are not delivering leads that convert into sales.


Here is a web design firm that is using multiple marketing channels to generate sales from their website. Their main objective it to have users go to the “Contact” page. Lets compare two channels with relatively the same amount of “Clicks” by using a unique tool in Google Analytics called “Behavior Flow*.” (Don’t worry I will show you how to do this in just a little bit.)

* Behavior Flow: Demonstrates the path the user or users have taken throughout a specific website (from page to page to  post to post.)  It displays how long they have stayed on a certain page and which pages they have exited (drop rate) out of the website. 

Email Sales Metrics:

The email campaign reported that 104 users clicked on the website. This would seem like a very successful email campaign, but the behavior flow below depicts a more accurate report.

As you can see from this image there has been zero interaction with the “Contact” page, but more interaction with the blog pages. According to these analytics the email campaign is not bringing the type of user that converts into a sale by going to the “Contact” page. Also, the pink arrow points out that there is a high dropout rate.


Social Media Sales Metrics:

The social media campaign had 129 users “click” to the website. The behavior flow below depicts an accurate report of the social media campaign.

The social media campaign had almost the same amount of users “click” to the website, but had 13 more users go to the “Contact” page. According to the behavior flow, the social media campaign brought the right type of user to the website for the Web Design Firm.

How to Use Behavior Flow

Behavior Flow is most commonly used in determining which pages need improvement. It allows you to analyze which pages are driving the most traffic and which pages are creating the highest dropout rate in order to make effective changes. As you can see from above, “Behavior Flow” can be even more resourceful for analyzing the effectiveness of your marketing channels. This tool allows you to highlight specific marketing mediums, sources, and channels in order to analyze their behavior.

Now that you have determined your objectives (“Contact” page, “Service” pages, “Make a Purchase” page…..), it is time to compare your marketing channels.

Step 1

Go to Google Analytics and sign into your website.

sales metrics

Step 2:

Click on “Behavior” and go to “Behavior Flow.”

Step 3

Click on the Green tab that says “Landing Page”, go to “Acquisition”, and click on “Source.”

“Acquisition” has multiple options that are useful. It depends how specific you want to Analyze your marketing channels. For instance, if you want to analyze a more broad channel (Email, Social, Organic,…) click on “Traffic Type.” 

Step 4:

Choose a “Source” that you want to Analyze (Yelp, Facebook, …) Click on the “Source” and click on “View only this Segment.”

sales metrics

Step 5:

Analyze your data by comparing marketing channels with your objectives.

sales metrics
The Behavior Flow will now show the users that entered into your website through that particular source (growthhackers.com.) 


Now that you know what marketing channels are delivering sales conversions, it is time to apply the information. This part is really up to you to decide. Here are some important questions to ask yourself:

-How much are you spending on that particular marketing channel/ source?

-Are you seeing return on your investment?

Different marketing channels/sources are more effective for different industries. If you are paying a lot of money for one, maybe it is time to get rid of it.

-Are there marketing channels/ sources that are delivering more sales conversions?

-Could you reallocate your resources into the marketing channel that is delivering more sales conversions?

Might as well spend your money where it is making you more money.

Next time you get your online marketing report whether it is from an email, social media, or yelp campaign…don’t just look at the clicks and call it a day. Take the next step and see what type of user that channel is drawing to your website.


If you are looking at calculating the return on investment on your online services check out Directive Consulting’s Online Marketing ROI Calculator.  It is an advanced calculator that allows you to choose multiple pricing levels (if you offer services at different level of prices), choose online objectives, and it integrates with your Google Analytics data.